Some 800 mostly local people came out to show their disgust at a racist mobilisation in Hyde, Greater Manchester, last Saturday.
Groups including the English Defence League (EDL) and the embattled British National Party (BNP) came to Hyde to whip up racism following an attack on a white 17 year old.
Daniel Stringer-Prince was severely beaten up, allegedly by Asian men.
The racists came despite a call from the victim’s family for them to stay away. Daniel’s mother, Cheryl Stringer, said the local Asian community had been “absolutely brilliant” following the assault.
About 600 turned out for an EDL “static protest”. In reality this was a march around the edge of the town centre ending at a designated assembly point in a car park.
Many of the thugs who attended the racist protest lingered in the area. But the strength in numbers of the largely Muslim counter-mobilisation ensured that they got nowhere near the local mosque.
Eleven EDL supporters were arrested for public order offences.
The BNP meanwhile only managed to turn out 30 fascists, including leader Nick Griffin. Police officers protected the fascists while they leafleted the town centre.
The far right had hoped to capitalise on last week’s violence in nearby Rochdale (see right).
But yet again local people showed that the anti-racist majority are prepared to stand up to their threats.
Griffin has recently attempted to reach out to the EDL in a desperate attempt to counter the BNP’s plummeting support.
He lifted a ban on BNP members joining EDL events before the Hyde rally.
The BNP is also terrified it will lose its few remaining elected positions, especially after the EDL took on the British Freedom Party as its electoral wing.
But many other fascists have dropped their support for the BNP in favour of the street violence of the EDL.
Around 200 racist thugs rampaged on the streets of Heywood in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, and attacked fast food shops on Thursday of last week.
Witnesses say the group shouted “EDL” and threw racist insults at workers in the Bits’n’Pizza takeaway.
The English Defence League used Twitter to say it was “fair play” that the disorder took place. They linked it to an ongoing trial in Liverpool of 11 Asian men accused of sex offences against children.
Zeeshan Khokhar, who runs Bits’n’Pizza, told the press that white friends came to defend the shop.
There is no known link between the racists’ targets and those on trial.
Racist groups like the EDL have tried to push the myth that Muslims are paedophiles. They hope to whip up racism and increase tensions in communities.
Up to 300 anti-racists came out in Glasgow to see off a planned demonstration by the Scottish Defence League last Saturday.
The racists mustered around 75 supporters, and many turned out to be from English Defence League divisions in the north west of England.
The police allowed anti‑fascists to march around George Square, after pressure from several members of the Scottish parliament. Previously they had said anti-racists would only be permitted a static protest.
Trade unionists from the FBU, Unison and Unite came to support the anti-fascist mobilisation. Also attending were MSPs Sandra White, Humza Yousaf and Patrick Harvie.